The whole world.
The Beach by Alex Garland.
Pauline Goyard: After studying graphic design and motion design in Paris, Pauline worked a few years as an art director. In 2014, she decided to go full-time as a photographer and started to get more and more creative work, especially in the music industry.
She shot numerous artists (Ben Harper, Suede, Nada Surf, etc) while working at OUI FM, the French rock radio station. At the same time, she also opened her own portrait studio BLACKDOOR, with the desire to offer to everyone the experience of a professional photo shoot.
She is still doing conceptual work, and as a big amateur of DIY projects, she also has a blog with cheap tips for other creative-minded people.
-How did you first become interested in photography?
It’s been a while! I was a very curious child, so a lot of things interested me, and I remember that the first time I actually saved some money, it was to buy myself a camera! I saved for months to get ‘100 francs’ together (15 euros) and chose a bright blue plastic one. It was pretty cool! I still have it and I think it works, it’s just hard to find the right film to put in it.
-How would you describe your style of photography?
I try to keep my style clean and simple, with a creative touch.
-Is there a theme or concept that runs throughout all of your work?
I started doing a lot of self-portraits, and I always put my story in them. It has always been really therapeutic for me to do so. I will always try to create something meaningful for the person who is in the picture, I want to tell a bit of his/her story.
-What is your typical camera setup on a shoot?
I use my Sigma Art lens 18-35 mm, f 1.8 for my creative work and Sigma 24-70 mm, 2.8 for portraits. I always go for the biggest aperture possible, 100 ISO, and 1/250 of a second shutter speed.
-How do you promote your work?
Social media and by word of mouth most of the time.
-What is your post-production workflow like?
I select the best pictures in Lightroom, and retouch them with Photoshop. Usually late at night and with a good TV show on a second screen!
-What is your dream project?
I would love to create an album artwork for Nine Inch Nails! (Trent Reznor if you can hear me!)
-How do you go about posing or directing your subjects?
When they are portrait clients, I will direct them from head to toe because most people don’t know how to pose for camera. Although I will never have them do something that doesn’t look or feel natural.
-What is your approach to lighting like? What is your go-to lighting setup?
I love a simple setups with one soft light: I look at a lot of classical paintings and the way those guys used light is magic. I started learning studio light by myself with speedlights, strobist style, and after a few years I am still using them because they are so versatile, light to travel with, cheap, and easy to use outside. I’ve got a Yongnuo YN 560 IV that I use with a softbox. I also love to experiment with cheap stuff like LED lights, anything I can find that can lit up, I will try to use it in a picture!
-How would you advise someone just starting out in portrait photography?
When you first start out, you have to learn with almost nothing. Don’t be afraid to experiment, try new things! Just a few years ago, I had no gear at all and I built my softbox with a piece of cardboard and an emergency blanket, same for the reflectors. Everything held together with some gaffer tape and I learned studio lighting with this for a year before I could afford real stuff. I even had clients! Your gear or camera doesn’t make you a better photographer; your creativity and your ability to find solutions to make your vision happen does!
-What is your biggest resource in relation to technical knowledge and how long did it take you to master your technique?
Everything I know about photography, I know it thanks to all the resources I found on the internet. First the Strobist blog, other photographer’s blogs, creativeLIVE, the best school in the world for me, and now, the Sue Bryce Education website for business resources. There is so much to learn, I am constantly pushing back my limits, and I am not sure there is a moment in my life where I will be satisfied with what I know.
-What was the best career advice you were ever given?
You will go as far as the amount of pain you are ready to endure.